It seems the last 3 months of the year is a time when we see many relationships ending. It may be related to numerology, where the new numerological year starts to impact from September onwards, it may be that people want to start fresh in the new year or it may be the end of year pressures cause an explosion of frustration with the way things have been in the relationship.
What ever the reason it is hard on all concerned, the person leaving and the person left. The person leaving has often mulled over the idea for a while, they may or may not have clearly communicated their dissatisfaction to their partner, they may have been very clear but their partner may have been in denial, hoping that things would get better when……happened. For many people leaving the relationship has been quite drawn out, possible some denial from them about what was going on, time of self-reflection and often the grieving for the loss of what they had hoped the relationship would be has been done before the actual ending. This can be why they may seem to move on to a new relationship quickly, they have often been out of it for quite a while.
For the person who has been left it can be a big surprise or not unexpected, it can be devastating or a blessed relief. No matter how the person left feels there will also be a grief process for them, time will be needed to grieve and heal, this can be a quick or an extremely long process depending on the depth of their hurt.
When people are hurt they can act in ways that are unexpected, even by the people who think they know them the best. People may become mean and nasty, say things they don’t really mean, behave badly, it is the hurt and anger and not the true person. This does not excuse the behaviour but can explain it, they have a choice whether they act on the thoughts and feelings they have or whether they remain loving and respectful. And it is not only the person who has been left that can react in this way, sometimes the person doing the leaving either wants to hurt as payback for other past wrongdoings or to push the other person away to validate their choices.
So, how do you remain loving and respectful when you feel like your heart has been torn from your chest and stomped all over, when your hopes and dreams for the future are now laying crumbling into dust, when you feel cheated on, lied to or disrespected?
It can be tough, it won’t be easy, but if you can remember the reasons you love this person, accept that things can change, people can change and feelings can change, and that you cannot make someone love you or want to be with you, then it can help the process along.
Respectful endings can and do happen, treating each other with respect, being honest, not laying blame and accepting personal responsibility for your role in the relationship can all contribute to a much easier time for all involved.
Richelle has had a passion for sexuality and sexual health since 2001. She has worked in the field since 2006, providing sexuality education in schools, and adult education in the topics of diverse sexualities and gender identities, LGBT health issues, sexual health and LGBT relationships.
This is a space for me to share with you my journey as a Sexologist, the things I learn and the people I meet and what I think and feel along the way.